The best foods to stockpile from Amazon

You might wonder why I’m writing this particular post. Am I just trying to shill for Amazon? Do I get kickbacks?  While I am an Amazon associate, I’m creating this post because not everyone has access to a bulk food store like Costco or a convenient Azure Standard drop. And not everyone wants to buy in super bulk quantities. Many people don’t have a convenient way to transport larger quantities of food, either. For people who want to boost their food security and be better prepared for emergencies, ordering ‘small bulk’ items from Amazon can be a great way to stock up at a good price and have the food delivered. These are some of the best foods to stockpile from Amazon.

Choosing foods to stockpile

I choose these items based on the price per unit, compared to typical grocery store prices. I also consider the product packaging – is it suitable for storing as-is or does it need to be repacked? Are the units unnecessarily, wastefully wrapped? Is the food high quality? A final consideration is the size and quantity. I’m focusing on items that come in what I call ‘small bulk’. That is, a larger quantity but not necessarily Costco sized.

This food stockpile list is focused on shelf-stable foods.  My list is subjective, so it may include foods you don’t care for or omit foods you enjoy. You should feel free to compare, contrast and adjust to suit your own needs and preferences. This is not meant as an exhaustive food stockpile list, it’s a list of the some of the best options from Amazon. It doesn’t include bulk whole grains, for example, because Amazon isn’t the best place to buy those (I order bulk grain from Azure Standard, read my review here). This list should be part of a larger food supply plan.

Building up a food stockpile with Amazon Subscribe and Save

One way I stock up and save money on my food storage is by leveraging Subscribe and Save Store” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program. This is a recurring, automatic delivery program from Amazon that does not require a prime membership or cost anything to use. Many foods, beverages and household items are available through Subscribe and Save, often in larger quantities or bulk sizes. Shipping is always free on Subscribe and Save items.

The ‘subscripe’ part is very easy. Just add or subtract eligible items at any time before the cutoff date. The program has a set monthly delivery date but you get to decide if you want things every month, every two months, etc. It’s very easy to change, add or cancel items or entire deliveries. You can also change your delivery date.

Each month, I check the Subscribe and Save Pantry Staples to see if they’ve added any of my usual pantry staples. If so, I compare the cost per unit to my local store (if applicable) and decide if I want to add the product to this month’s delivery.

Does Subscribe and Save actually save money?

Yes, but only if you do your homework. You ‘save’ because Amazon offers a 5% discount on all items in a delivery if you’re ordering at least 4 Subscribe and Save items. The discount goes up to 15% if you have five items in your delivery. That means you can set up a recurring shipment and receive a 5%-15%  discount on each item every time. But you need to make sure the item is actually cost effective, even with the discount.

And you need to keep an eye on your subscriptions to make sure you don’t accidentally order more than you can use. I learned this lesson years ago when I forgot to check how much toothpaste we had…two months in a row. We did manage to use up all twelve tubes before they expired but barely.

I love using Subscribe and Save to slowly build up and maintain my stockpile because I can space out my orders to suit my budget. It’s a great way to keep your pantry stocked and add some surplus in a regular, predictable way. If an item on my list is available with Subscribe and Save, I’ve noted it. Please be aware that items slip in and out of the program, so an item might be available sometimes and not others. Check out the Subscribe and Save Store learn more.

Shelf-stable dairy for stockpiling

Be sure to select non-fat dairy products if you intend to store them longer than 8-12 months. Dairy that includes fat doesn’t store as well and will turn rancid much more quickly. If you do want to keep full-fat dairy on hand, use it within a few months.

Some people use dried milk or butter regularly and rotate it through their kitchen. Other people, myself included, store shelf-stable dairy for emergency use. That doesn’t mean I don’t intend to consume these foods. Well before their expiration, I’ll include them in regular food preparation and replace them. But I won’t be buying and rotating them with the same frequency I use for dried beans or rice, for example.

I’m including eggs here, too. Amazon sells powdered sour cream, buttermilk, heavy cream and other forms of egg and dairy but since I don’t use those items, I didn’t include them. There are plenty of great options for those, and other, shelf-stable egg and dairy items, so you should be able to find products that work for you.

Best all-around

This is my favorite dried milk. It’s not the cheapest option per ounce but it’s not super pricey, either. Most importantly, it’s packed in a #10 can and has a 10 year (minimum) shelf life. That means I don’t need to repackage it, which means I don’t need to purchase Mylar bags or storage containers for it.

The five pound can is large enough to make about 41 cups of milk, or about 4 gallons.

Best individually packaged option

I keep a stash of this dried milk, too. The box contains four bags, each holding one pound of dried milk. If I need just a little dried milk, I can open a single bag instead of cracking into an entire can.

The price per ounce is very good and the product is excellent. The bags are resealable and fine for shorter term storage as-is. I store these bags in a sealed bucket. If I wanted to add these to longer term storage, I would store them in a mylar bag with oxygen absorbers.

Bulk Option

This is not actually milk, it’s a whey powder milk alternative. It looks and tastes like non-fat cow’s milk, however, and it’s a good value for the price. I included it because one pail yields 33-40 gallons of milk. If you want to store a large quantity of milk for a disaster situation, this is a good option. If you use powdered milk frequently, this may also be a good value for you. Please note this is derived from cow’s milk, it is not ‘dairy free’.

Non-cow milk option

If you want to store powdered milk that’s not from a cow, try this non-fat powdered goat milk. It comes in six 12 ounce bags, which should be repackaged into mylar for longer term storage. They bags will be fine for shorter term storage.

Best whole milk powder

If you do want to store some whole-milk powder, this is a great option. It’s shelf-life is shorter than non-fat powdered milk, but it will still hold up for over a year unopened. I keep a couple of bags of this in case I need a cup of milk and we don’t have any. It’s too pricey per gallon for me to use with impunity, but inexpensive enough to make using it in a pinch workable.

Powdered Coconut Milk

This is a great option if you want to store non-dairy or vegan ‘milk’. Plan to repackage this in mylar if you want to store it longer.

Powdered Butter

This powder will reconstitute into something similar to butter. It’s great for some recipes or spreading on bread but it’s not going to turn into a stick of creamy, honest-to-god butter. It IS butter, yes, but don’t expect it to be the same as it’s fresh counterpart. The #10 can will store nicely for ten years, making this a great choice for longer term or emergency food stockpiles.

Dried Eggs

This is whole dried egg powder. I prefer it to other forms of dried eggs because it can be reconstituted with water and cooked or added as dry ingredient to recipes. This is another item I don’t rotate regularly through my kitchen, because I have chickens who supply lots of eggs. This is for my long term food storage, and like the milk, WILL be consumed at some point and replaced.

Dry goods for stockpiling

These are the dried foods, dry goods and other shelf-stable items I buy from Amazon.


This is hands down my favorite thing to buy from Amazon’s Subscribe and Save. Why? Because we love this brand of couscous and it is WAY more expensive in our local grocery store, even with a coupon.

It arrives in airtight plastic containers, each container is 1.65 pounds. We use this up regularly enough that I don’t need to repackage.

Couscous is a great food to include in your food stockpile because it will last for decades (store it in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers) and it’s very quick and easy to cook. You don’t even need to ‘cook’ it at all, just add hot water and let it steep. Compared to other dry foods and grains, it needs less heat and water to prepare, which is great in an emergency.

Potato Flakes

Let me shoot straight here. I’m not eating ‘instant’ mashed potatoes unless it’s an emergency, so I do not keep a huge stash of these flakes. They are, however, a great longer term food storage item, so I have some in my stockpile. I chose these because they’re pretty much just dried potato flakes – no weird fillers or other ingredients and they do actually reconstitute into a pretty palatable mashed potato.

Like my powdered milk and butter, these aren’t part of our regular food  but they WILL be eaten before they expire, likely on a camping trip.

This is another Subscribe and Save item, so I saved 15% when I ordered them.

Potato Slices

This is another food item for longer term storage, not regular rotation.  The price and quality on these slices is good and they’ll offer some variety in an emergency.

Dried vegetables

One more longer term food item I get from Amazon. I have a dehydrator, so I actually dry a lot of fruit and vegetables myself.  Those get used regularly in our meals, so I’m not storing them for very long or in very large quantities. But I like having a few cans of ‘stew vegetables’ in longer term storage in case there’s an emergency and we need some extra veg.

Peanut Butter Powder

Peanut butter is shelf-stable, but only for a year or so. I keep a few jars in the pantry rotation but I also keep powdered peanut butter for longer term storage. This is another product that I have primarily for emergency or long term use, but will consume eventually.

Sushi Rice

The 10 pound bag is the cheapest option per ounce and it’s usually cheaper than my local grocery store.

Canned Tuna

The price per can is cheaper than the store brand cans at my local store, so I grab one of these 48 can packs once or twice a year.

Powdered Stevia

We use this for sweetening our coffee. The price isn’t staggeringly cheaper through Amazon but it’s one of those things we forget to add to the grocery list because we don’t use it that fast. Since stevia has a long shelf-life, we just stock up on it a few times a year and we’re all set.

Using Amazon to build a food stockpile

There’s no magic to shopping for your food stockpile from Amazon. Like any store, some things will be cheaper and some will be pricier. But they do offer some larger size foods at very competitive prices and the free shiping is a real perk for large or heavy food or bigger orders. The Subscribe and Save program can help you get deeper discounts on some items if take time to compare the cost per unit and you keep an eye on your recurring subscriptions.

Tips to help you get the best out shopping for food from Amazon
  • Because Amazon allows many sellers to offer items, it’s possible to see the same or similar food selling in different quantities or at wildly different price points. And unfortunately, the quality is not always consistent among sellers, even for the same brand of food. I recommend reading the reviews for the specific item you’re ordering to make sure it’s coming from a reputable seller.
  • Double check the price per unit for any item you’re ordering. The bigger size isn’t always cheaper per ounce, for example. Sometimes there will be several packing or quantity options for a product. Be sure the option you pick is cost effective per unit. And this is another area where multiple sellers may be offering various versions of a product in the same listing. The various options may end up with differing per unit costs.
  • Compare the price per unit on Amazon (or any online retailer) to your local stores, if they offer the item. For example, the couscous I included is significantly cheaper per ounce on Amazon, especially with the Subscribe and Save discount. And my local stores don’t even offer the multi-pack of Bob’s Red Mill potato flakes. When I crunched the numbers, ordering the four pack of flakes was cheaper than buying the same quantity (in smaller bags) locally. On the other hand, my local store sells long grain white rice substantially cheaper per ounce, so I always buy it at the store.

Don’t rely on a single source

Keep in mind that you’ll almost certainly need to use many sources to build and maintain a food stockpile. Use your local grocery store, warehouse stores, online co-ops like Azure Standard and food manufacturers who sell their items directly to purchase food at a price and in quantities that makes sense for you. And be sure to re-check prices periodically – what was once cheaper online might become cheaper locally or vice versa. Check out How to Build a Food Stockpile for more information on long term food storage at home.

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Disclosure: I’m an affiliate for, Azure Standard and other companies. Clicking on links in my articles and purchasing products may result in the seller offering me compensation. I only share products I use and enjoy. Affiliate relationships help me cover the cost of producing content for Hey Big Splendor.


Here’s what you need to know about setting up a food stockpile, storing food for the long term and how to pick food storage supplies.